[eDebate] Coalition of the list-supporter

Morris, Eric R EricMorris
Sat Jun 3 17:20:17 CDT 2006


My understanding of the voting counting process is that the topic with the least votes is eliminated, and then a run off occurs with the remainder topics. 

 

Thus, those supporting a list topic need only rank 1st Amendment LAST to assure that their vote is cast elsewhere. If a majority rank all the list topics above the 1st Amendment, there will be NO vote splitting effect. The vote splitting is only a risk if people put the 1st Amendment somewhere in the middle. If a majority support the LIST concept, and rank 1st Amendment last on those grounds, then 1st Amendment CANNOT win (even if it takes several eliminations to sort through which list is the most preferred). 

 

Obviously, those who prefer the 1st amendment topic, or that style of topic, would rank it first and then place the list topics in order of least offense (perhaps that means the long lists first?). 

 

If there is a clear majority for a list topic at all costs, or the area topic, then that type of topic will win out. Only if people rank 1st amendment somewhere in the middle can it play out that dissension over which particular list leaves us with 1st amendment.

 

Put another way: schools can help Ede's coalition by agreeing to rank 1st Amendment LAST, even if there is disagreement over which list they prefer. The coalition could still be useful if it included schools that plan to rank 1st Amendment in the middle, however.

 

Ermo

Missouri State

 

________________________________

From: edebate-bounces at ndtceda.com [mailto:edebate-bounces at ndtceda.com] On Behalf Of Ede Warner
Sent: Saturday, June 03, 2006 5:04 PM
To: edebate at ndtceda.com
Subject: [eDebate] Coalition of the list-supporter

 

Dear Debate Community,

 

When the final slate of topics was announced, it was apparent that first amendment would be what we debate in the fall for a couple of reasons:  1) some, perhaps many, feel that it is the only topic with enough limits; 2) many just don't like the use of "overrule" in the other topics; 3) it is the only area topic competing against 7 area topics, which means the most likely outcome is that a 1/3 to ? of the community votes for first amendment as their #1 choice, and no one list topic generates more than 1/5 of the vote.  Now, given the criticisms coming out, perhaps that is not the case, but the lone area topic is at a huge strategic advantage.  Ironically, as someone who supported areas, the process created strange bedfellows the way it played out.  I think the lists were made with broad strokes to allow for a lot of flexibility.  Ironically, this is the major criticism of the list topics.  I strongly feel that the committee created a series of lists that have much pedagogical value in terms of diversity of case options, than the free speech topic.  And finally, I don't agree that the stem for the lists are as open-ended as others do. But that is not here nor there.  If you are interested in voting for a list as your #1 topic, please continue.

 

The last three years, whatever topic had the overall most number of #1 votes, won.  93 total ballots cast last year with pressure getting 29 first round first place votes, with 21 the next highest.  The year before that, there were 95 total ballots, with the winning topic receiving 46 followed by 19, and in 2003-4, there were 75 ballots cast, and the winning Europe list had 31 first round first place ballots, with second place having 22. 

 

If your school is a list supporter, and I concede that for many it is too early to make that call (depending on how much investigation the school wants to do or the inclusiveness of the decision making process at the school), I call on those in favor of any list to participate in a coalition-building process to give a list topic a fighting chance to win.

 

I propose this:  If you support any of the lists, let's have a discussion on the blog until a deadline date, perhaps July 1st or even a little later.  The goal of the discussion is to create some consensus for what order we think the lists should be voted in.  From there let's have our own vote amongst the supporters of a list.  We each agree to support the results of that voting as a group and vote accordingly.  And we all cast our individual ballot as part of a collective voting block.

 

If we got 48 willing schools to participate, we could assure that a list topic was likely victorious.  I suspect we can't get that many, but we should strive to maximize our coalition.  Without any external effort on this, a relatively small minority of first amendment #1 votes will likely win.  

 

I will post this note to edebate, CEDA-L, and the Blog.  Please let me know if you are interested.  I will create and defend a rank order of the lists to start the discussion, only on the blog.  I hope people see the strategic necessity to think of this as one list versus one area, and not 8 separate topics.  Thanks for reading.

 

Ede "Doc" Warner

 

 

 

 

Ede Warner, Jr.
Director of Debate Society/Associate Professor of Communication
University of Louisville
308E Strickler Hall
502-852-3522
e0warn01 at gwise.louisville.edu
http://comm.louisville.edu/~debate

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